Believe

Chico Marx is credited with saying; “Well, who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?” After years of doubting much of what I thought I have more faith in my thinking and I’m believing my eyes.

About twenty years ago while running with a friend and talking about the economy I asked what’s going to happen to this country now that we are manufacturing less and less every year. My friend, a successful stock broker, said don’t even think about it, we’re becoming a “service economy”. It didn’t make sense to me but I figured he must know what he’s talking about. My thinking about an economy is that you buy a raw material, apply some labor to it and sell it for a reasonable profit. There are other ways to create value like Microsoft and many others have done in the technical arena but I still think that somebody has to make something that provides jobs for some people and sells to others. Perish the thought but it’s beginning to look like I just might be right. Over these past few decades we have become a nation of shoppers buying and thereby creating wealth for the makers of the things we buy and those “makers” are most often not in this country.

As Sandy Weil was busy building Citibank into the house of cards it has become we all knew deep down inside that it’s impossible to manage an enterprise that big and varied. We knew that bigger is not necessarily better and that a growing concern will eventually, if it continues to multiply, become too big to control. We are now in a valley of economic disaster surrounded by mountainous companies labeled “too big to fail”. I’m a capitalist of sorts and an entrepreneur and I believe in markets up to a point but if your company is too big to fail than you need to be told to split it into manageable parts and we need a strong government to make that happen. If you want to, with ego as your driver, expand your already big company somebody has to say no to you and we need a strong government to say it.

During the 70’s the “best and the brightest” went into the tax shelter business; now they go into the hedge fund game. They produce nothing for the country or the world except confusion. Their big brains are wasted on finding ways to game the system and their only goal is more money for themselves. John Bogle, the founder of Vanguard Securities, has said that the financial services industry is a net subtractor from the economy.

We were told by Paul O’Neill, after he was asked to resign by George W. Bush, that Bush was focused on Iraq at his first cabinet meeting which was held eight months before the attacks on the World Trade Center. We know that the invasion of Iraq was based on a lie, that it was just another war for oil. We need a strong government to operate from truth and not from fear.

Barack Obama will be inaugurated in less than two days and I am a believer. I have watched major corporations gain more and more power in this country and it must stop. The drug and food companies run the FDA, the major networks run the FCC, the banks and oil companies run the rest while the congress watches. I am more hopeful than ever that this man, this leader can inject our tired and castrated congress people to stand up and say NO MORE! I believe that we finally have the leader we have waited for. I am excited that we have finally stepped u p and elected the right person for the times, the person that the congress just might listen to. We may just get our country back after these decades of greed and nonsense.

Posted January 18, 2009

4 Comments

Of the decades referred to eight of those years were Clinton years. Four years before the Clinton years NAFTA was begun by G. Bush which was further by Clinton and will be finished after Obama’s second year. In my opinion Obama is going to rubber stamp NAFTA to sell out to the same interest groups that our current president sold out to.

There is no difference between mandatory health insurance bailing out the health care system than the government bank rolling failed business or the loans to help finance the Bank Of American deal to buy Merrill Lynch.

Painting Obama as a centrist leader of the people is erroneous when in actuality he depends for his political livelihood on the same set of interest groups that the neoconservatives do. I don’t recall Obama ever calling himself a centrist. Both the left and the right wing are global free market capitalist. Obama never spoke about changing the free trade agreements. He just spoke about making government bigger.

Obama will do to the democratic party what G.W. Bush did to the republican party at which point a third party can emerge and be victorious.

You see and you say– Truth. Thanks, mgt

Hopefully Barack Obama is what he appears to be. The difficulties we face though are larger than any man or group of men will be able to fix very quickly, if at all.

On the other hand life does go on, and it will.

Being an optimist, I have high hopes for Obama. I felt a tear or two while watching the inauguration because I realized work around the country had come to a near halt as people everywhere stopped to watch. In our office the phones stopped ringing completely and people gathered in the conference room to watch the ceremony together. It struck me how millions everywhere have found their inspiration at least for a day. After so many years of rule by fear and intolerance, Americans are starved for inspiration. Inspiration and hope count for a lot. There is tremendous power to be derived from inspiration and hope. My hope is that America will re-embrace the golden rule in the way it is governed, in the care of its citizens and in its embrace of other nations.

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